5 Post-Workout Yoga Stretches for Enhanced Flexibility
Calming and soothing to the muscles, these Yoga poses are your very own body treat after those muscle-crunching workouts. We’ve hand–picked some of the easiest moves to cool you down after a workout.
You can lift those heavy weights, do some crunches, run on a treadmill, perform all kinds of lunges, but what do you do next? Most of the workout geeks out there are skipping the cool down stage as they think it is unnecessary. But, if you’re one of those that still do that, then say bye-bye to that old-fashioned way of thinking, because a simple yoga routine can redefine that by putting your muscles back in their natural resting state, while preventing further muscular problems thanks to enhanced flexibility.
Before anything else, it is important to note that breathing is key. Right after your workout, especially while you’re panting for breath, try to slow down your breathing to calm yourself. One way is to gradually hold your breath and prolonging it on the next breathing cycle. For instance, inhale for 3 seconds and hold it for another 3 seconds, then slowly exhale up to the count of 3. Next, inhale for 4 seconds and again hold it for 4 seconds, then slowly exhale to the count of 4. Continue doing the cycle by adding a 1 second to each round until you reach a 6-second breathing cycle. This breathing routine enhances your focus.
Do a push-up position, slowly bend your elbows by putting your whole body downward. Align the elbows at your sides until your trunk is perpendicularly near the floor. Then, slowly arch your back upwards and position your face forward, just like a cobra.
Downward Facing Dog
While in a Cobra position, slowly raise your buttocks upwards. Palms and feet planted on the floor, giving your arms a good stretch in a slanted position. You should now be in a downward facing dog position. Now slightly bend your right knee while keeping upper body near the bended knee. Repeat the same sequence with the left knee.
Transform from a Downward Facing Dog to a High Lunge position by moving your right knee up to your chest, while your palms are touching the floor. Then, slowly raise both of your arms upward, until they are stretched fully upward. Then, stretch your right leg to a standing position while maintaining its distance from the other leg and keep your arms in the same position. Slowly lunge up and down by slightly bending your right knee and straightening it up again.
For a Twisted Lunge, shift to the bended knee position, put your palms down together at your chest and twist your torso to the right. While facing the side, bend sideways, letting your elbows meet your thighs. Hold the position for about 30 seconds while focusing on your breathing. Repeat on the other side.
After the Twisted Lunge position, put your right forwarded foot and slide it sideways by allowing your whole leg to rest on the floor. The other leg should be extended straight backwards. After you’ve placed yourself in a sitting formation, slowly lower your trunk to the floor. Reach out as far as you can, drawing your chest closer to your right foot. Hold the pose and remember to focus on your breathing.
You may opt to repeat the poses again for a total cool down after a workout.
All of these yoga positions and poses are really helpful in improving the strength and flexibility after a workout. You’ll gain strength, improved blood circulation, and a calm & stable mind that can ultimately help you cool your body down.
You don’t have to be a professional yogi to perform all these yoga poses after every workout.
This story was originally published by our friends at SOULSCAPE.